Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 2017

An early December sunset over a prairie windmill near Hartford, SD
This December was a month of extremes.  For the first three weeks, the weather was dry and quite warm across most of the state.  An early influx of snowy owls seemed to make their way across the whole area including a sighting right here in northwest Sioux Falls.  About Christmas time, the weather started getting colder and soon snow covered the whole state. As I write this, on the evening of December 31st, we are experiencing the coldest temperatures of the young winter season with teens below zero temperature actual and even colder with the windchill.  All this, plus a holiday trip to the western part of the state made for great month of photography opportunities.  It wasn't easy, but here are 12 of my favorites from the last of 2017.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

A snowy owl in a field on the northwest corner of Sioux Falls taken December 2nd

Sunset with a thin layer of ice over Lake Alvin Recreation Area near Harrisburg, SD

The fishing pier with an icy sunset at Lake Alvin

Close-up of a prairie windmill at sunset near Hartford, SD

Pre-dawn clouds over Badlands National Park

Spearfish Canyon after a snowfall on the Winter Solstice

Snow covered pine in Spearfish Canyon

A bluejay in Custer State Park

Snowfall on bison - Custer State Park

Snowfall on bison - Custer State Park

Another snowy owl sighting in northwest Sioux Falls on the last day of the year.  This time there was plenty of snow and sub-freezing temps to accompany the bird.  In this photo it is perched atop a four story apartment building and fluffed up against the cold temperatures.

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